Burial Cover Origins
The origin of burial insurance has centuries old Roman and Greek roots where burial clubs helped with the funeral costs of its members. This type of burial cover was designed to assist families of those in ill health with the costs of burial.
It was more often the poor and less-privileged folks who could not afford funeral costs and who would opt for the burial cover.
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Fratries, or fraternities, popularly known as ‘burial clubs’, came into existence to assist members cover their loved one’s final expenses. The insured club members pay membership fees during the monthly meetings and festival periods. New members are expected to pay a fee before they could be admitted into the club.
Sometimes, new members are expected to supply the club with wine which they later share together during a meal after a sacrifice is done.
Members that default or are in arrears in paying his or her regular monthly dues for six months are denied burial benefits. If and when a member commits suicide, he would not be buried among the other members of the club. Members that survived suicidal act were made to forfeit their burial benefits.
Gradually, the concept of final expense insurance evolved and came to be known as a contract that offered the family relief from the financial burdens of funeral expenses due to a sudden death. Unfortunately, history has shown that not everyone understood this basic principal.
Policy purchasers had to be made to understand that the purpose of burial cover was giving comfort to the families of the insured in the event of a death, and having a burial policy was not to be considered a method for paying off other debt or for other uses, as life insurance sometimes is.
Burial insurance is not a modern invention as many people believe and is another example of the old axiom -there is nothing new under the sun.
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Burial Insurance History